Popcorn Stand: This Harvey will never disappear from society | NevadaAppeal.com

Popcorn Stand: This Harvey will never disappear from society

It’s really not appropriate to say love him or hate him, it’s more appropriate to say love or hate what the guy did, it can’t be denied his legacy will live on. Then again a lot of people wouldn’t refer to what this man was responsible for as a legacy.

Larry Harvey, known as the founder of Burning Man, died Saturday morning at the age of 70. It was Harvey who erected a giant wooden figure out in the desert north of Reno and then decided to burn it leading to what now everyone knows is Burning Man.

Burning Man is about as hard to describe as trying to tell someone what an apple tastes like. Some refer to it as a counterculture celebration. Technically I guess it’s an arts and music festival. I guess it’s pretty much a festival where people can be themselves — or just be.

I’ve always been pretty ambivalent about Burning Man. My guess is if I ever went to Burning Man I’d probably be impressed, fascinated and disgusted all at the same time.

But there’s no denying the impact Burning Man has made on Nevada and the world for that matter. There’s no denying the event is a pain in the you know what to some people (namely the Bureau of Land Management) but an absolute treasure to arguably millions — at least the 70,000 or so who go there every year.

Burning Man obviously has its critics who are quick to point out what they see as its hypocrisy — an event that’s become the opposite of what it was supposed to be, a big corporate money maker.

A friend said Harvey didn’t believe in existence after death. But ironically through Burning Man, Harvey lives on.

— Charles Whisnand